Disabled charity volunteer takes on sporting challenges in his wheelchair

A disabled charity volunteer has completed a half-marathon as the first part of a series of challenges.

Mark Howard, a disabled volunteer and beneficiary from The Bridge for Heroes Armed Forces charity based in Lynn, competed in the London Landmarks half-marathon on Sunday, April 2 on behalf of the charity.

Dressed in his combat soldier 95 uniform complete with his Life Guards beret, Mark completed the 13.2-mile course in his wheelchair in a time of three hours and 16 minutes.

Mark at the start of the London Landmarks Half Marathon with Alan Harris (Gorilla) and Craig Russell (Kevin the Carrot)
Mark at the start of the London Landmarks Half Marathon with Alan Harris (Gorilla) and Craig Russell (Kevin the Carrot)

Mark said: “It was a great day out and whilst the hills and chilly wind proved tricky in the wheel-chair, the energy from the crowd and fellow runners was more than enough to get me through.

“I was also given a privileged position in the race, starting first along with amazing fellow runners in fancy dress supporting various cancer charities.”

Mark is also taking part in a ‘virtual’ London Marathon on Sunday, April 23, doing the 26.2-miles distance along the Lynnsport cycle path.

He will be supported by staff and volunteers from The Bridge for Heroes and is hoping to be joined by members of the local parkrun community who will each run part of the distance with him.

Mark would like as many people as possible to come along to support him either by running part of the distance or by just cheering him on.

His challenges will also include Ride London 100 miles on handcycle in May – although he will only need to do the 60-mile course as a handcyclist – and Swim Serpentine two-mile open water swim in September after teaching himself to swim last year.

His aim is to become the first wheelchair user to receive the London classics medal in the same year.

Since 2014, he has helped raise more than £250,000 for Bridge for Heroes taking part in more than 50 events.

Mark usually takes on his challenges on a handcycle but he is currently without one as his previous ones have broken and they cost more than £4,000 to replace.

He is currently also fundraising separately for a bike for life at a cost of £15,000 – with £7,500 gathered so far.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to his Bridge for Heroes fundraising can do so by visiting his ‘Just Giving’ page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-howard40

Do you have a story for the Lynn News? Email newsdesk@lynnnews.co.uk